Our Gallant Trees

 

The other day I was walking with a friend through our grove of trees to the stream at the back of our property. As his eyes followed the trunks of several of our giants to its crown high above, he exclaimed, “Wow, these are magnificent! Is that another white pine? Look at that cluster of cedars!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter having lived here for eight years or so, seeing our grove of mature trees through the eyes of a visitor brought back some of the excitement I felt when we first bought the place. Our house is nestled in a lawn and garden surrounded by a grove of mature trees: sugar maple, beech, red oak, white pine, hemlock, ironwood, cedar. The trees must be 60 or 70 years old or more.

I love these trees, not just because I studied forestry as an undergraduate and can see their value in board feet of lumber, but because they are magnificent in their own right. And because they reflect the Creator who made them. I feel quite poignant about them, now that we have the property up for sale and plan to move into town. Leaving this spot that has inspired scores of blogs will be bittersweet. Fortunately, I’ll carry memories and the determination to live out the lessons they teach.

 God of the gallant trees,
Give to us fortitude;
Give as thou givest to these
Valorous hardihood.Back yard with oak, pine
We are the trees of thy planting O God,
We are the trees of thy wood.

Now let the life-sap run
Clean through our every vein.
Perfect what thou hast begun,
God of the sun and rain,
Thou who dost measure the weight of the wind,
Fit us for stress and for strain.
(Amy Carmichael)

As these trees depend on God for sun and rain, so may I depend on the Lord to sustain my spiritual life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. May I develop fortitude to face patiently and quietly the stresses of life. May I bend beneath trials and troubles but not break.

“God is our refuge and strength”(Ps. 46:1) “Therefore my dear brothers stand firm. Let nothing move you”(1 Cor. 15:58). “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Eph. 3:16).

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